Explorer Changes - Is Anything For the Better? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Doesn't it seem as though Explorer has been rewritten in Windows 7 without complete knowledge of what it did (especially what it did right) before the rewrite? 

    I assume the authors of the rewrite made it work the way THEY like best, and ignored features they personally never chose to use.  And it's clear from some of the decisions that they haven't been using Windows as long as many of us.

    Windows 7 in general is reverting to a less positional, more of a "discover as you go and rediscover over and over" system.  Almost as though the designers think the "joy" of operating Windows itself is the focus, rather than expecting people to USE Windows to get stuff done. 

    For example, we see that Explorer has less ability than ever to remember where you like to position and keep your windows.  Computers have been remembering application positions for a long while now, and yet if you use more than two Explorer windows they will invariably interact in unexpected ways regarding positioning and sizing of the next one opened.  The registry is HUGE, and yet you can't get Explorer to remember where to put a few windows?   And why don't we have 10 different options for remembering where our Explorer windows should be opened and what they should look like?  Instead we have some ultra simplistic default behavior that makes no real sense.

    As I age I'm finding it more and more difficult to find things in lists or in big blocks of icons.  Frankly I've never been very good with lists.  I'm not alone - think "hide stuff in plain sight" and "camouflage".  I remember things best POSITIONALLY, yet this is precisely what Windows 7 seems to be leaving behind.  Alt-Tab doesn't display applications in Z-order any more (true with Vista as well)...  Y'know, some people come to EXPECT the computer to do things consistently and actually USE that to their advantage.  At least make using things "the old way" possible via configuration!

    And what's up with the Windows 7 Explorer moving things out from under your mouse?  Don't know what I mean?  Open a new Explorer window, then try to navigate the directory structure in the Navigation (left) pane...  It spends the first few (tens of) seconds reorganizing and reorganizing again the data shown in the Navigation pane PRECISELY when you need to use that pane to get to where you want to go.  More than once I've clicked on the wrong folder because of this...  Why should it take a perceptable amount of time to fill in that data?  The computer is powerful enough to animate hundreds of frames of a first person shooter in that time; and copy megabytes of data from the highly powerful disks - it should be able to display the disk and network structure when Explorer is first opened without spending half a minute figuring it out!!  If nothing else, just REMEMBER what was in the Navigation pane last time, and update it if it has changed.  Oh, that's right, Explorer can't remember much any more.  I guess the developers don't trust the registry or file system to keep data safe.  What does that say to us?

    C'mon Microsoft, you need to do better than this.  Each new release of the OS is not an opportunity to rewrite the user interface just for the sake of doing so.  Or if you DO choose to rework something, make it a REAL project, with an actual reviewed design, QA, etc.  What you've done just comes off as kids playing with the software!

    A parting thought:  Windows is an OPERATING SYSTEM, for a COMPUTER.  This is NOT an ENTERTAINMENT device for the masses.  Make it do entertaining things - fine, I'm sure there's a lot of money in that - but don't forget that some people actually need a COMPUTER, and LEAVE IN the "get real work done" options!

    Friday, September 25, 2009 4:59 PM

All replies

  • Noel, looks like MS don´t want to listen.

    Windows Explorer is now TERRIBLE, stupid, annoying... I can´t find names to put on it. I´m posting this for ages. Other users are too. Do we have some attention? No.
    Look at my post´s history. Look at my last posts in "Have comments ...." threads... I´m tired of repeating myself.

    Win Explorer is useless.

    Win Explorer have less features now than ever.

    Win Explorer is not customizable.

    Win Explorer is STUPID by hidding obvious things from the users (file extensions? copy/move files beeing written? file sizes? free space? details for more than 15 files? nah... no one needs it, right?)

    Win Explorer have the HABIT of moving things from under my mouse. I´m tired of repeating this too. It is my item J) in the list of new explorer annoyances, posted in the "Have comments part 2):

    J) List view now have a strange behavior. If the file name in the last column in a list can not fit the screen, all columns change position to the left, to let the user see the full name. BUT, it just disrupts the workflow and a file that was right under the mouse now is in the left column. (I made an image about this issue, it can be viewed here: http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/5135/explorerexample.jpg

    In fact, Im tired of all the stupid changes for nothing. Changing for do something better is good. Changing for the sake of change, is not.
    Friday, September 25, 2009 5:26 PM
  • Oh, I forgot one...  It is now IMPOSSIBLE to get a file time down to the second, unless the file is OLD.

    As a developer, I find it occasionally important to know which file in a sequence was created before another.

    Explorer emits the following for any file more than a few seconds and less than a few days old:

      "Modified:  ‎Today, ‎September ‎25, ‎2009, ‏‎1 minute ago"

    Somehow I assume this is supposed to be more human-oriented.  Trouble is, it's NOT ACCURATE and moreover I can find no way to a) configure to eliminate this behavior and always display the hours, minutes, seconds (it can, sometimes it does), or b) find any Windows function that will emit hours, minutes, and seconds consistently.  The DIR command will at least give hours and minutes.  The only thing I've found so far is the Gnu "ls" tool.

    This is LUDICROUS!  Since when did accuracy become unnecessary in operating system design?

    Friday, September 25, 2009 5:36 PM
  • Will some of these bugs be fixable in the registry? Someone must be able to write a script fixing the lack of memory Windows Explorer
    exhibits when it comes to window position and size. This one bug will drive me to drink....

    Super opportunity for a sharp programmer to make a 3rd party app.
    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:57 PM